Cases of false paternity fraud have shot up in the Ashanti Region, the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Police has disclosed.
Paternity fraud is a situation where a mother deliberately tricks a man into believing he is the biological father of a child that is not his.
Classified as emotional abuse, DOVVSU says the past two years has seen an increased in false paternity in the Ashanti region compared to physical abuse of men.
Although the Ashanti Regional Coordinator DOVVSU, Supt. Sussana Dery, declined to give figures citing lack of authorisation as the basis, she described the rate at which such cases are being reported as alarming.
“These cases are now trooping in in their numbers and it is terrible,” she told 3news.com.
According to Supt. Dery, the cases are mostly common with marriages where the husbands are living outside Ghana.
She said men living outside the country are mostly confronted with false paternity in their attempt to secure visas for their children to join them wherever they are. Paternity test which is a requirement in some cases exposes the fraud.
“The cases are very common with what we call ‘abrokyire awaree’ where the man is outside the country and when he tries to secure visas for their children to join them, DNA shows the children are not his. This affects the emotions of the man and the children involved,” Supt Dery stated.
She added; “Lately we have started getting a number of cases that has to do with women who have kids with men and later it turns out the children are not for the men”.
Meanwhile, non-maintenance of children, defilement and physical assault of women are the three leading cases reported to the office of DOVVSU in the Ashanti Region.
Supt. Dery said the cases of non-maintenance of children keep increasing across the country.
Girls’ defilement by relatives, friends and neighbours is also a major concern to DOVVSU.
According to DOVVSU, it has intervened in aborting a number of child marriages, indicating that the last quarter of 2019 saw three of such marriages being nullified.
Fathers of the girls and the prospective husbands were arrested in those cases.
DOVVSU has appealed for a conducive office space to offer privacy and confidentiality to victims reporting cases at the Unit.
Supt Dery lamented the deplorable wooden structure and the congested office space.
“Just go and look at the wooden structure we work in; no privacy, no confidentiality. Children are mixing up with adults. Elsewhere, children have their own child friendly rooms where they are kept but that is not the situation in our case,” she said.
By Beatrice Spio-Garbrah|3news.com|Ghana